Flying with children can be one of life’s great stressors. Parents spend countless hours prepping for those dreaded flights and losing sleep thinking about how the day will go.
No matter how amazing your child is, how well behaved, or how calm, flights can turn your toddler into a tantrum machine. Being stuck in a pressurized, confined space for hours can do a number on your kid.
Those that aren’t parents or are never around kids might see you walking into the airplane and rue the day. But take heart, there are many on that airplane who have been there at one point or another. And know all too well the “joy” of traveling with children.
Not only will you inevitably stumble upon some gracious and kind people on your flight, but Twin City Kids Club also has some great hacks for your trip. These six flying hacks will help the flight go smoothly. Have no fear; you will be rocking this whole parenthood-in-an-airplane thing.
1. Snacks For The Win
Many times the root of a child’s tantrum is hunger. They might not know why they are lashing out and crying, but you sure do.
When prepping for your flight, it is crucial to load up with snacks and drinks. TSA, aka the Transportation Security Administration, makes special exemptions for parents of infants and toddlers.
They allow you to travel with liquids such as milk or juice over 3.4 ounces in your carry-on. If you are an avid traveler, you know this is a huge deal. Moral of the story: TSA cares about your mental health during the flight and about your tantrum-prone toddler.
Some ideas for easy (and airport friendly) snacks are
- Apple slices
- Bananas/banana chips
- String cheese
- Applesauce pouches
- Graham crackers
If possible, try to avoid snacks that are too high in sugar, as that can create a sugar-fueled frenzy in the plane. Rule of thumb is to go with snacks that have the least amount of clean up. Help yourself out and make snacks stress free.
2. Flight Times
You know your child and their schedule better than anyone. You know when your daughter is at her happiest and calmest, and what time she NEEDS her sleep; this is all valuable information.
When deciding which flights to book and what times, take into consideration your kids’ nap and sleep patterns. If you know that your kids’ nap around noon and turn into raging monsters (behaviorally) book around their schedules; Fellow travelers will thank you.
3. Netflix, Daniel Tiger, and Disney Channel
There is no shame in letting your kiddos watch an episode or two of a show on your flight. If it allows them and all the other people around you to be in a quiet, comfortable environment for a while, more power to you.
That being said, you usually do not have wifi in the airplane unless you pay for it (which can get pretty expensive). Luckily, some apps allow you to download movies and shows onto your phone and have them saved for just the right time.
Netflix has an extensive list of movies and shows available, and they only take a few minutes at most to download. You can even do it while you are in line to board.
PBS and Disney Episodes apps also allow you to download programs so your kids can still watch them even when you don’t have internet. You can prep your children by telling them that they get to watch an episode of Daniel Tiger if they have good behavior; It’s a beautiful thing.
4. Aisle Seats Are A Must
Yes, we know that your son or daughter wants to sit by the window and look at airplanes and clouds, but having the middle and aisle seat is what’s going to make your flights the smoothest.
Unless your family is occupying that entire row and you feel comfortable jumping over them every so often for toddler bathroom breaks, it is better to sit as close to the aisle as you can.
If your toddler continually needs to use the restroom or needs to walk up and down the aisles a little to get their wiggles out, aisle seats will make that trek much more hassle-free.
Plan accordingly, and secure your seats while you are purchasing your tickets. Some airlines charge you for picking your seats. Not ideal, we know, but it sure will give you peace of mind.
5. Ear Pain Remedies
You know that weird, clogged feeling you get in your ears when you fly, well children get it too, even worse possibly because the Eustachian tubes in their ears are more narrow. It can be quite painful and cause your little ones to be agitated, cry, or scream.
There are a couple of things you can do to prevent or decrease ear pain:
- Give Tylenol before a take-off or landing if you know that your child gets frequent ear pain.
- Drink lots of fluids. Swallowing helps to open the Eustachian tubes and keeps the air pressure in their ears equalized.
- Bottles or pacifiers. Drinking from a bottle or sucking on their pacifier during pressure changes will help minimize ear pain.
6. Dollar Store Toy Game
If you are soon flying with children and want to keep them at their best behavior and entertained, the dollar store will become your favorite place.
You can buy a lot of small toys on a minimal budget. If you wrap each one individually to make it look like a surprise, you can reward your kids every so often for good behavior on the plane.
The novelty of the new toys will keep them entertained and intrigued and keep them looking forward to the next toy surprise they will receive. Sure, it’s a bit of bribery, but whoever says they have never bribed as a parent is straight lying.
Visit Us For More Fun
Twin Cities Kids Club is designed with parents and children in mind. Finding activities for families to enjoy and getting great deals is our passion, and we offer free and forever memberships to all families in the Twin Cities area.
Go online to get your free membership and enjoy family discounts at all your favorite places. Sign up for our newsletter to keep you updated on all the latest activities. Let the fun begin!